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Tunisia: Relief at Lifting of Protest Ban

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

Tunisian netizens have expressed their relief at the lifting of the ban on protesting on Habib Bourguiba Avenue. The avenue is the main street of Tunis and was the location of a mass demonstration on the eve of the Tunisian Revolution. It recently witnessed a series of protests, by the jobless on April 7, by civil society activists on April 9 (Tunisia's Martyrs’ Day), and by some members of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) on April 10.

The two last protests aimed to “liberate” the avenue. During the Martyrs’ Day protest, violent clashes occured between protestors and police leaving many wounded, thus increasing tension and the desire for the ban to be lifted. The following day, members of the NCA marched in the street and met the Minister of Interior to discuss the events of April 9. On April 11 the government decided to lift the ban on protesting on the avenue.

Habib Bourguiba Avenue. Image by Flickr user Tab59 (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Habib Bourguiba Avenue. Image by Flickr user Tab59 (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Netizens have expressed their satisfaction at taking back the freedom to protest on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, but vowed not to let the matter rest.

Blogger and journalist Sofien Chourabi gave credit to the revolutionaries for the lifting of the protest ban:

@Sofien_Chourabi:بفضلكم يا أحرار تونس تم صباح اليوم الغاء قرار منع التظاهر في شارع الحبيب بورقيبة من طرف مجلس وزاري.
@Sofien_Chourabi: Because of you, Tunisia's free people, the ban on protesting on Habib Bourguiba Avenue was reversed this morning by a cabinet meeting

Journalist Tounsiahourra tweeted:

@tounsiahourra:اتحاد عام طلبة تونس يدشن قرار إلغاء منع التظاهرات في شارع بورقيبة , بالتظاهر امام المسرح البلدي ‎‪#UGET‬‏ #HBAVENUE
@tounsiahourra: The General Union of Tunisian Students [Union générale des étudiants tunisiens, UGET] greeted the decision to lift the ban on protesting on Bourguiba Avenue by protesting in front of the Municipal Theatre

The following video from WebdoTN shows the recommencement of protests on Habib Bourguiba Avenue. The UGET protesters gathered in front of the Municipal Theatre and chanted various slogans:

Prominent blogger and journalist Haythem El Mekki tweeted:

@ByLasKo: التراجع عن هذا القرار لاهو حكمة لاهو مزية، بل هو أقل القليل !!!
@ByLasKo: Reversing this decision is neither wisdom nor a favour – it's the least of the least!!!

Student Haykal Fakhfakh called for the resignation of Ali Larayedh, Tunisia's Minister of Interior:

@HaykalFakhfakh: L avenue bourguiba est libre maintenant passons a la demission du ministre de terreur #tunisie #9Avril

@HaykalFakhfakh: Habib Bourguiba Avenue is free now, let's move on to the resignation of the minister of terror #tunisie #9Avril

Journalist Emna Ben Jemaa calls for vigilance:

@Emnabenjemaa: Ne vous faites pas arnaquer par l annulation de l interdiction.faut que les responsables soient punis #MI

@Emnabenjemaa: Don't be fooled by the lifting of a single ban. The officials should be punished #MI

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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